Going Deep in EDH with Eternal Masters

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I would be remiss if I didn’t address the fact that Eternal Masters was announced this week. This is going to be one of the most significant MTG Finance events of 2016 so we can’t pretend we won’t be affected, can we? Legacy as we know it is going to change as staples like Force of Will and Wasteland go down in price (We know this because these cards were announced) and cards like Underground Sea go up in price. And why not? Cards that aren’t safe from reprint could easily be in the set and their prices as volatile and unknown while Reserved List cards are safe from reprint and therefore subject to price increases based on increased confidence from buyers. We’re already seeing consequences of the announcement and at the time of writing this piece, it hasn’t even been 24 hours.

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Underground Sea is STARTING at $300. Who knows what we’ll be paying in a few weeks? How could this happen? More importantly, are there decks that don’t need duals and other crazy Reserved List cards to work in Legacy?

Well, I don’t care about that last question. Let other nerds write articles about decks that don’t need Reserved List cards. We are interested in EDH cards and if the Reserved List overlaps with cards we want, we’d better get them sooner rather than later. I wrote about EDH/Eternal overlap last week and while I’d like to write about something entirely different this week, I’m not gonna. We should look at cards that overlap Legacy and EDH, but this time with respect to the Reserved List specifically because Legacy is about to change and we don’t want EDH to get left behind. Are there cards that see play in both formats that could go up? Probably. Let’s look.

The Reserved List

This is a list of cards WotC has promised it won’t reprint. It is in their legal best interest to abide by the promise and a lot of us have money tied up in cards that would be hurt financially by a breaking of this promise. Put simply, this list is a way for us to have some confidence in our investments in older cards so we can avoid another situation like Chronicles where reprints pantsed prices on a lot of cards and undermined confidence in the rest. While some cards on this list are baffling (I’m looking at you, Sorrow’s Path) what we have is a good list to base future buys off of. A lot of the cards on this list aren’t EDH-playable, but the ones that are can be relied on to go up in value, steadily due to the fact that they can’t have their value hurt by a future reprint. There isn’t a huge sense of urgency on every card, though, so the impetus of this article is to identify the cards that could go up if interest in Legacy increases the way they expect it to with the advent of Eternal Masters.

The obvious first cards to discuss are Legacy Dual Lands.

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These are all bound to go up. Force of Will will likely go down or stay the same in value but people who have Force of Will for the first time by virtue of picking up Eternal Masters packs will want to build Legacy deck(s) and they’ll need these. Not only that, speculators are already going after these, hard. Since a non-zero number of EDH players pack these, it’s worth watching. Grab the ones you need now because supplies are drying up.

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Geyser is a great way to use X colorless mana, although players tend to use Blue Sun’s Zenith more, this is a card that could see a bump. Zenith tends to  get Legacy play more as well, and three printings of this limit its upside farther.

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At $7 for its cheapest printing can attest, this card is actual money. Used in a significant number of artifact-based decks like Sharuu, this also sees play in Tezzerator Legacy decks and has been creeping up steadily for a while. It’s always been a good pick, but its reserved list status can only help its upside.

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Fringe EDH play and Fringe Legacy play combined could spell upside for a card that has held steady in price but could go up in a Tezz deck in the new Legacy, especially if someone figures out how to cut down on the number of expensive Underground Sea in the deck.

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On the other hand, this is fringe EDH and mainstream Legacy, but those fringe EDH decks better get their copies while they can.

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This is useful in decks like Zedruu and Legacy Enchantress both. At $300ish this is a high buy-in but I feel like soon $300 may seem like a bargain. I don’t know how much money there is to be made here, but I’d feel remiss if I ignored it.

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This is part of an obscure combo that hasn’t seen much play lately, but this is a card that sees play in decks like The Mimeoplasm as well. There is upside here and with this card having already demonstrated the ability to be $5 and the copies being concentrated in the hands of dealers making a second spike easier, I think this could be a winner.

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Nekusar decks as well as Hellbent decks want this little trinket which is too bad since Legacy has made this a $120 card already and threatens to take it even higher. This is a card you may want to eschew in EDH if you can since you don’t have that luxury in Legacy.

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This gets more EDH play than you might expect and its current pricetag is on the low end of historical date, which I don’t expect to hold since Eldrazi Mimic has made this a much more attractive target. Stiflenought is a real deck and with 4 more ways to make this a savage 1-drop, this has real upside. This can be $40 again and you want to be holding when it gets there.

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A long-time sideboard staple is making a splash in decks like Gaddock Teeg and other “Uh uh, you didn’t say the magic word” type decks in EDH as well. This is a card that we may see on creatures or other ways to avoid making a straight-up functional reprint that violated the Reserved List but it’s unlikely we see a card as perfect and perfectly-costed as this. This is at a historical high but that doesn’t mean it will never be higher.

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This is a card that has demonstrated an ability to be $10+ and is super good at shutting down creature strategies. Its toughness means it’s relatively easy to remove and Abrupt Decay being everywhere doesn’t help and you still have to find a way to kill them with this card out there, but don’t be discouraged. This is a solid card and EDH wants it as well as Legacy. This could be $10 again and you will be glad you paid $3. When Merfolk and other beatface decks prevail rather than decks like Sneak and Show, this is a real card and Eldrazi cards showing their head in Legacy to an extent show that people may be swinging with creatures more in the future. Keep this in mind.

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Speaking of Eldrazi in Legacy, this budget Workshops is a real mana generator and it is no slouch in EDH, either. Anything that generates this much mana is bound to turn heads and this card is creeping up on its own. Any nod it gets from Legacy will send it upward.

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Aluren itself isn’t the limiting factor in the eponymous deck, it’s Imperial Recruiter that keeps this deck that can kill people with Lobber Crew if you want (I want) from being played more. This spiked before when Recruiter was announced as a Judge printing and while a dealer or two who had advanced knowledge acted on this and bought all of the Alurens out, this play is largely acknowledged as a huge failure and brought up a a cautionary tale regarding buyouts. The good news is that failed buyout concentrated copies of Aluren in the hands of dealers meaning the price will stay higher for longer if the card spikes again. If Imperial Recruiter ends up in Eternal Masters, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t, Aluren becomes a very affordable and fun deck to play and Aluren itself with its Reserved List status will only go up, possibly back to the $30 a few people thought they were going to get a few years ago.

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When I bought a bunch of these at $10, I expected to make more money than I did. I didn’t lose money here but I wasn’t happy with how  I did. I could do better.This card could do better. This card will likely do better if Show and Tell decks persist. Sneak Attack and/or Show and Tell being printed in EM could drive popularity up and this is a great board card in those matchups as well as a nasty card for enchantment EDH decks. All in all I like this card a lot, even at its current price.

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This has always been a fine card and people wanting to jam this with Hedron Alignment in Legacy won’t make the price go down, that’s for sure. This does a lot of work in EDH and this price tag is at a historic low for the last few years. All signs pointing to this being a pretty tasty spec.

UntitledWhy did this card ever stop being $20? The deck is still fine, it lets you run out a very early Omnipotence, it makes cards like Conflux playable and it’s great in EDH. This can be $20 again and the current buy-in is pretty tasty for that contigency.

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If you want this for EDH, I think now is a good time to pick this up. Its price plateauing is predicated on Legacy demand staying the same. How long do you think that will last? This won’t be in Eternal Masters but will be in decks going forward. This is also an EDH staple and just does a ton of work. This price will be higher soon and if you buy now, you’ll be glad you did, I imagine.

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This card demonstrated the ability to hit $100 and I think it can get there again, especially since the first spike concentrated copies in the hands of dealers meaning copies won’t come out of the woodwork to bring the price down. This taps for 2 mana, and 2 true colorless mana at that. Sounds good to me.

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I wish I had been writing this column back in 2013 when they changed the Legend rule so I could have written an article about how Cradle and Mox Opal were getting better with the ability to play a second copy and sac the tapped copy giving you more mana on that turn. Legacy players got the message, then Elves took off in Legacy and even Vintage got in on the act, running Cradle in some shops builds since it’s not restricted in that format. This price isn’t going down as more people join Legacy, is it? EDH demand will keep the price high and this is a perfect crossover example.

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I told you to buy this at $30, I don’t know what more I can do. Legacy Enchantress is a deck and will continue to be a deck. Add how good this is with the new Daxos and you have a crossover card that could give Gaea’s Cradle a run for its money. I mean, no it won’t, but it could. Either way, this was a good buy at $30 and I’m not sure it’s the worst buy at $50, even. Imagine that.

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Rector? Damn near killed ‘er!

This list is, in my estimation, the cards that are EDH-playable and could be impacted by increased Legacy play. The Reserved List ensures they can’t be printed in Eternal Masters and when the cards that get played alongside them go up, we can expect to see some sweet gains.

There are other Reserved List EDH goodies but since they aren’t played in Legacy, I decided to leave them alone since there is no urgency in their price. Events are what drive prices up, and more Legacy demand is an event. It remains to be seen how many of these cards go up, but since they aren’t likely to go down, all of them should go up eventually.

That does it for me this week. Stay tuned next week where we’ll likely have some other insane event to discuss. A new format? New cards? Anything can happen with this wacky children’s card game.

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13 thoughts on “Going Deep in EDH with Eternal Masters”

  1. Hey,

    great article as always!

    Just a quick question here : do you really expect cards such as Fow to drop down in Price?

    Especially considering what we’ve seen with MM/MM2 and the impact on Mythic’s prices, and the fact that Eternal Master MIGHT add some interest in Legacy (therefore potentially balancing supply and demand)?

    For Wasteland I’m rather sure it’s going to drop, but really deep, not that sure…

    Thanks for your input!

    Vince

    1. If the demand for Modern were predicated on Modern Masters rather than supplied by it we would have seen the same thing with ‘Goyf – a big dip then a recovery. Dealers bought more goyfs than players in Vegas and that meant the price never had any compeitition from individual sellers on TCG Player. Why did dealers do this? Simple. They knew Modern would sustain goyf’s price. We don’t have the same demand with Legacy. I think FoW can rebound but I expect a dip because who is going to gamble on Legacy? The same Star City Games that stopped featuring it as a weekly Sunday tournament?

      1. Hummm fair point. You definitely think that legacy is on the verge of death then?

        Considering this, What would you recommend regarding legacy staples that are off the rl today? Sell? Hold until it regains value?

        I’m actually rather curious to see what will happen to reprinted eternal staples, like will they take a deep dive or plummet for a few months and go back…

        Thanks!!

  2. lol hinting that wizards could be stopped by legal methods. I don’t think promissory estoppel would even apply.

  3. I think its great that you are writing an article like this which draws connections between Legacy and EDH reserved list cards. But I wanted to ask… are people assuming that most cards in Eternal Masters will be Legacy based? I thought “eternal” meant “non-rotating-formats” including not only Legacy, but Commander and Modern as well.

    Doesn’t this mean we are just as likely to see really expensive commander and modern cards reprinted in this set, along with legacy cards? They aren’t just going to print a ton of Legacy cards right? I was thinking there was a really good chance that ANY card that has eternal format crossover is a likely reprint target, even if the crossover is between Modern and Commander, not just Legacy?

    If this reasoning holds true, aren’t we just as likely to see cards like Archangel of Thune, Kaalia of the Vast, Doubling Season, etc. Basically ANY card that is “eternal-playable” that they don’t want to release in Standard and might not “fit” well with MM17. I’m expecting a truly random ass mix of expensive cards that aren’t necessarily meant to be drafted together and don’t need to have a “theme” like Modern Masters. Who knows, maybe I’m completely wrong… but I think people are reading “ETERNAL” and thinking it means “LEGACY” and that just isn’t true at all. I expect we see about 1/4 Legacy cards, 1/4 Modern cards and 1/4 Commander cards, with the last 1/4 being cards that have the most format crossover (essentially the “chase” cards of this set, maybe the rest of the fetchlands!)

    Let me know if I’m completely off-base, but I am truly expecting at least 1/2 of Eternal Masters to have absolutely nothing to do with Legacy. I’m expecting that this is going to be a major outlet for Commander staples and Modern cards that don’t “fit” well in Modern Masters sets or Commander products.

    Sorry, I know this doesn’t have much to do with a “Legacy-Crossover” article, but I wanted your opinion on if this scenario is at all likely? Would you be surprised if 25%-50% of the cards in Eternal Masters were NOT Legacy playable? Could this be where we see reprints like Doubling Season? I’m a little more worried about what Commander cards might show up in the $20-$60 range, the ones that might be a little “too good” and expensive for Commander supplemental products.

    For example: Ravnica Doubling Season foils might be fine if they use a different art in Eternal Masters, but the Judge foil and Modern Masters foils might drop considerably if we see another foil reprint with the same art and non-foil Modern Masters prices will completely bomb if the same art is used.

    TL;DR: Should we consider selling off some of our “Long-Term-Holds” in our EDH spec binders because they are much more likely to be reprinted now that there is another outlet for reprints? Maybe in your next article you could mention a few likely targets for Commander reprints that we should be ready to unload? I think that Doubling Season and Kaalia have a very good chance of showing up in Eternal Masters. Are there any other obvious examples you can come up with? What “safe” EDH specs are not so “safe” any more? THANKS!

    1. Fuck that comment was long (sorry)… maybe just blab a little bit about this topic on Brainstorm Brewery next week?

    2. It is hard to say. I would like this to have EDH and casual staples as well as straight Legacy staples but we can only guess. I wanted Conspiracy 2 because we would have a better idea of what would be in a set like that, but they seem to want to do a set that is 100% reprints. It puts them in an interesting position – are they really supporting Legacy as a format if the only new Legacy cards come from Commander Sealed product and accidentally from Standard?

    3. One minor point – Modern is not an eternal format. There is not the traditional rotation as with standard, but a ban-based rotation. Maro has confirmed on his blog that Modern is not considered by Wizards to be an eternal format, be wary of thinking of it that way.

  4. WUBRG, Wizards has done a good job making MM sets great to draft. I think this set will be the same. Unless they greatly change the Mythic:Rare:UC:common ratios there’s only so many card prices they can shatter. That said there are many cards that I feel “need”to be reprinted that havent been yet. I think basically the entire infect deck is going to get reprinted in this set. At minimum the cards not reprinted in MM 2015 and the catds overlap Modern and Legacy.

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if baby Jace from Origins was reprinted. It would be too late really to “save” standard but he and Ugin could be reprinted in Eternal Masters. This might also be where the enemy fetches get reprinted. Anyone who has played standard since BFZ will tell u how awful fetching in standard can be. It will be interesting to see if any commanders r reprinted like Kaalia. There’s so many possible reprint targets, there’s actually too many which for us investors is a good thing.

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